Air Cav takes families to the field
October 12, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas - When Soldiers leave home and go into a field training environment, family members are often left with a curiosity about what they endure while they are out training in the field.
That curiosity was fulfilled for family members of Soldiers from the 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, who witnessed firsthand what it is like to live and operate in a field environment during a battalion family day event held here, Oct 3.
The event was held in conjunction with the brigade's on-going aerial gunnery, which is scheduled to conclude later on this month.
The Soldiers brought the field experience to life for the more than 100 family members in attendance.
"This was a chance for the family members to see, hear, smell and touch what we do for a living," said Lt. Col. Doug Brockhard, commander, 1-227, 1st ACB. "Now they have an image in their heads about what it is that we do out here."
To start the day, family members were transported from battalion headquarters to the field site by bus and after a range safety brief, they toured the Soldier's living areas out in the field.
After the initial safety brief, Soldiers briefed and demonstrated to the family members the basic operations of a forward arming and refueling point, with the demonstrations ranging from how ammunition is loaded onto an AH-64D, Apache Longbow helicopter, to proper refueling procedures.
One of the briefers, Staff Sgt. Tyra Charmant, a platoon sergeant for E Company, 1-227th, 1st ACB, originally from Queens, NY, noticed the positive effect that the day's activities had on her Soldiers.
"The Soldiers were having a great time spending time with their family members out here," she said. "The soldiers were extremely proud to show their family members how they operate here in the FARP."
For the family members, the experience resulted in similar feelings of pride and enjoyment.
"It was really nice for all of the kids to see what their parents do," said Petra Polite, wife of Staff Sgt. Loren Polite, a section chief with E Company, 1-227, 1st ACB. "Our children in particular were very excited to be out here and see my husband do his job."
Following the demonstrations, the family members were then transported to a different location within the range vicinity. There, the sound of Apache attack helicopters reverberated throughout the air to culminate the day's activities. The pilots treated the family members to a live fire presentation that brought smiles and looks of admiration from family members big and small alike.
Ultimately, the family members garnered an appreciation for the challenges that Soldiers face when they work and live in the field environment.
"People don't realize how much work and effort goes in to what the Soldiers do out here until they actually see it firsthand," said Polite.